Building Capacity and Stakeholder Support for Scaling an Innovative Assessment and Accountability System

Topics: Education Policy, ESSA

This brief assists states in thinking through the opportunities and challenges associated with flexibility provided under the ESSA. When Congress created the Innovative Assessment and Accountability Demonstration Authority under Section 1204 of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the intention was to provide states with an opportunity to build innovative, scalable systems of assessment that provide rich and useful data on student performance. Policymakers did not intend for a state to pilot an assessment system with districts indefinitely, but to instead work, over time, with all districts in the state to implement the innovative assessment system. As such, the law would require a participating state to scale its innovative assessment system statewide by the end of the Demonstration Authority (not to exceed five years) to ensure assessment results are consistent across the state for accountability and reporting purposes.